AES and Google in 10-year tie up to push expansion of clean energy

Key Points
  • The two firms say they want to speed up the expansion and adoption of clean energy.
  • Renewable sources of energy are becoming increasingly important cogs in the global energy mix.
The Lawai Solar and Energy Storage Project on the island of Kauai, Hawaii.

U.S. company AES Corporation and Google have entered into a 10-year strategic alliance which they hope will speed up the expansion and adoption of clean energy.

In an announcement Wednesday, the Arlington, Virginia headquartered power firm said it would leverage "Google Cloud technology to pioneer innovation in the sector."

Among other things, the two firms said they would work with one another "to develop and implement solutions that enable broad adoption of clean energy."

AES added that it would utilize Google Cloud technology to both improve energy customers' experience and "help create the grid of the future." Another company called Uplight, which AES is a major investor in, will also use technology from Google Cloud.

Renewable sources of energy are becoming increasingly important cogs in the global energy mix. This shift from fossil-fuel based sources to ones such as solar and wind — the "global energy transition" — will have a long-lasting impact, especially in the way grids operate.

Research and consultancy group Wood Mackenzie, for example, has said that solar and wind will meet "close to 20% of global power needs" by the year 2035.

This shift presents its own challenges, because while sources such as solar and wind are renewable, they do not promise a constant and predictable stream of power.

It's within this context that the development of intelligent grids that can cope with the large-scale adoption of renewables will be important in the years ahead.

"We're proud to have been selected by Google to form this strategic alliance," Andrés Gluski, the president and CEO of AES, said in a statement. "By combining the capabilities, footprint and experience of both companies, we will be able to provide better and more efficient energy solutions."

Google Cloud's CEO, Thomas Kurian, said that his business and AES would leverage the cloud, artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analytics to "help transform the energy industry's infrastructure, while driving wider adoption of renewable energy around the world."